Louisiana Voices Educator's Guide  
Getting Started With This Guide  
Study Guide Summary  
Outline of the Study Guides  
Study Unit I Defining Terms  
Study Unit II Fieldwork Basics  
Study Unit III Discovering the Obvious: Our Lives as "The Folk"  
Study Unit VI The State of Our Lives: Being a Louisiana Neighbor  
Study Unit V Oral Traditions--Swapping Stories  
Study Unit VI Louisiana's Musical Landscape  
Study Unit VII Material Culture-The Stuff of Life  
Study Unit VIII The Worlds of Work and Play  
Study Unit IX The Seasonal Round and Life Cycles  
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Unit II Outline:

Fieldwork Basics Overview

Classroom Applications of Fieldwork Basics

Lesson 1: Getting Positioned for Fieldwork

Lesson 2: The Practice Interview

Lesson 3: Interviewing a Community Guest

Lesson 4: Terms in the Field

Lesson 5: Making Use of Fieldwork

Unit II Resources (this page)




  Unit II
Fieldwork Basics


Find resources helpful for Unit II lessons below. Specific resources are also listed in individual lessons. More resources may be found in the Louisiana Folklife Bibliography.


Bowman, Paddy, Betty Carter, and Alan Govenar. Masters of Traditional Education Guide. Arts Documentary Arts, 2011. Learn interviewing and documentation skills through exploring the lives and artistry of the NEA National Heritage Fellows in this online guide that invites students to discover and document their sense of place and traditional arts and artists in their lives.

Bowman, Paddy and Lynne Hamer, eds. Through the Schoolhouse Door: Folklore, Community, Curriculum. Utah State University Press, 2011. This anthology profiles a variety of folklorists' approaches to working in K-12 education and is valuable for educators.

CARTS Newsletter.Listening: Interviewing in Education, Local Learning and City Lore, 2010. Find an array of engaging articles outlining successful classroom projects based on interviewing for all grade levels.

Chalmers, Graeme. How to Teach Folk Arts to Young People: The Need for Context. Chalmers challenges the practice of "aesthetic scanning" by providing art teachers with ways to teach students the social context in which art is created.

City Lore Interviewing Guide. This three-page PDF grounds students in the basics. The City Lore website offers a slide show of this guide. [http://www.slideshare.net/citylore/city-lore-interviewing-guide?from=ss_embed]

Edinger, Monica and Stephanie Fins. Far Away and Long Ago: Young Historians in the Classroom. Stenhouse Publishers, 1997. Designed for a quick read or indepth preparation chapters explore goals, quandaries, and approaches, writing from personal experience, writing about other people's stories using oral history, writing about another cultural group "from the outside," and writing about a long-ago time.

Foxfire. The Georgia-based institute has dozens of folklife publications by students and teachers that may be purchased online.

Hunt, Marjorie. The Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide. Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, 2003. This is a useful and popular guide to help plan interviewing and fieldwork.

Folkwriting: Lessons about Place, Heritage and Tradition. This online guide is geared toward Georgia standards and its core curriculum for language arts and social studies but is useful in all regions. The lessons for all grade levels each have an interview component.

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. An Accessible Aesthetic. The folk artist is very much like a curator and the community is a living museum. In unpacking this metaphor, the author explores how the folk artist learns various traditions and then teaches adults and children to develop strong ties to their communities and cultural history.

Kodish, Debra and William Westerman. Negotiating Pitfalls and Possibilities. The article outlines steps toward understanding folk art and locating it within communities. It also explores how students come to understand the history, economics, style, culture and traditions of people through folk arts.

Library of Congress. Folklife and Fieldwork: An Introduction to Field Techniques. American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 2002. This basic, accessible guide to developing collection projects with sample forms is available online in English and Spanish.

Matthews-DeNatale, Gail and Don Patterson. Learning from Your Community: Folklore and Video in the Schools. South Carolina Arts Commission Folk Arts Program, 1991. This guide for grades 4-8 provides a sequence of lessons to help students make videos about local culture and connect their life experiences and "history." It is based upon a folklorist's and a videographer's work with South Carolina students on the effects of Hurricane Hugo. It offers good tips about student collection and video projects.

Montana Heritage Project website offers examples of student products, the interviewing process, and community documentation ideas.

Oral History Association. The website offers a number of helpful resources.

Richman, Joe. Teen Reporter Handbook.Radio Diaries, 2000. This online guide inspires students and equips them to create great radio diaries.

Rogovin Paula. Classroom Interviews: A World of Learning. Heinemann Press, 1998. Expert help on finding people, inquiry-based curriculum, and choosing how to use interviewing.

Rogovin Paula. The Research Workshop: Bringing the World into Your Classroom. Heinemann Press, 2001.The author calls on her experience to demonstrate inquiry-based teaching through interviewing and community discovery.

Sidener, Diane. Richman, Joe. Finding Folk Arts in Teachers' and Students' Lives. Helps teachers identify folk groups and incorporate cultural explorations into the classroom learning experience.

Simons, Elizabeth. Student Worlds, Student Words: Teaching Writing Through Folklore. Heinemann, 1990. A teacher and folklorist, Simons offers background and detailed lesson plans for writing and folklore studies, including naming, games and play, and family folklore. Out of print but used copies are sometimes available.

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Discovering Our Delta: A Learning Guide for Community Research, 2000. An online educational kit with a student guide, teacher guide, and video that follows five students from the Mississippi Delta as they conduct research on their communities, relevant for any region.

Steinberg, Adria and David Stephen. City Works. New Press, 1997. This award-winning curriculum challenges young people to investigate the neighborhoods where they live. Through interviews, research in local archives, and the creation of artifacts — maps, photographs, recorded oral histories, and three-dimensional models — students document their cities as they find them and develop visions of what their cities could be.

Sunstein, Bonnie and Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater. FieldWorking: Reading and Writing Research. Prentice Hall, 2002. This teacher resource provides exercises to deepen students' fieldwork, observation, and writing skills.

Swan, Kathy, and Mark Hofer. And Action! Directing Documentaries in the Social Studies Classroom. R&L Education, 2013. This book provides social studies educators with the background knowledge, conceptual understanding, and tools necessary to design and facilitate classroom documentary projects in the K-12 social studies classroom.

Taylor, David. Documenting Maritime Folklife: An Introductory Guide. American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 1993. This online fieldwork guide details how to document maritime regions and traditions.

Toelken, Barre. The Dynamics of Folklore. Utah State University Press, 1996. A good general college text useful for teachers and older students.

Wagler, Mark, Ruth Olson, and Anne Pryor. The Kids' Guide to Local Culture and The Teacher's Guide to Local Culture.Madison Children's Museum., 2004. Available as PDFs online, these practical guides provide simple yet compelling fieldwork strategies for young people to document their families, neighborhoods, and communities. Instantly accessible for students and their teachers.


Unit II Outline


National Endowment for
            the Arts.

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